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Aromatherapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
by Joie Power, PhD
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a poorly understood chronic illness that presents with complaints of persistent, unexplained fatigue together with various combinations of other flu-like symptoms such as recurrent sore throat, headache, joint and muscle pain, poor concentration, irritability, depression, low-grade fever, and swollen lymph nodes. Although no cause has been conclusively identified, it is commonly accepted that the syndrome reflects the presence of a smoldering viral infection in persons whose immune response has been compromised by chronic physical or psychological stress.
Although no definitive "cure" has been discovered for CFS, holistic regimens emphasizing diet, moderate exercise, herbal and nutritional supplementation, massage therapy, and stress reduction have proven helpful in reducing symptoms and aiding recovery.
Aromatherapy is also an important component in holistic approaches to CFS and there are a number of essential oils which can ease symptoms and support healing processes in persons with CFS and related disorders. Specifically, essential oils such as Chamomile, Geranium, Peppermint, Lavender, Lemon, and Marjoram can be helpful, when used appropriately, for boosting the immune system, promoting relaxation, easing muscle pain, lifting mood, and improving sleep quality.
Try the following combination of essential oils in a warm (not hot) bath to ease stress and muscle pain:
3 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
2 drops Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara)
1-2 drops Frankincense (Boswellia cateri) - optional
Use only Therapeutic Quality Essential Oils. Draw the bath first, mix the essential oils with a tablespoon of milk, add to the bath water, swirl them around with your foot, get in and relax. Allow yourself 10 to 20 minutes. Do not get the bath water in your eyes, as the oils will sting. Use this formula once a day for 3 or 4 days a week over a two to three week period.
There are many readily available aromatherapy reference books that offer further suggestions for utilizing essential oils in CFS. Check the indexes for "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" and "Myalgic Encephalomyelits", or ME, which is the term more commonly used in England.
*This information is provided for educational interest and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.
Copyright © 2010 Joie Power, Ph.D. / The Aromatherapy School | All Rights Reserved
This article, "Aromatherapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" was originally published in: World Health News - Vol. 2, No. 1, Winter 1998, Atlanta, GA.
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About the Author
Dr. Joie Power is a retired board-certified neuropsychologist. She is a former Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the Medical College of Georgia and has over twenty years of clinical experience in both in- and out-patient settings. Her extensive studies in aromatherapy and other alternative methods have included studies with Dr. Jane Buckle, Dr. Janet Merrill and Patricia Kyritsi Howell. As an undergraduate major in Anthropology she became interested in the healing practices of other cultures and throughout her subsequent professional career she has been dedicated to combining the technology of modern medicine with the healing wisdom of traditional cultures. Her approach to aromatherapy weaves together solid scientific training and extensive clinical skills with a holistic approach that honors body, mind and spirit.
Dr. Power is the owner and director of The Aromatherapy School which specializes in providing in-depth training in the science and art of aromatherapy specifically for healthcare professionals such as nurses, massage therapists, holistic physicians, psychotherapists and others. The Aromatherapy School provides three sequential levels of instruction leading to a Certificate in Clinical Aromatherapy; while the courses are open to anyone with an interest in studying aromatherapy; full clinical certification is awarded only to licensed healthcare professionals. More information on the school and its offerings can be found at www.Aromatherapy-School.com.
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